Braves: Alex Anthopoulos comments on the addition of Drew Smyly

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If you missed it, the Braves signed left-handed starting pitcher/reliever Drew Smyly to a one-year deal worth $11 million. Initially, I thought the price tag was a little hefty for a player with such an extensive injury history, but if that’s all in the past, this could be quite the signing for Atlanta. Even though it was a small sample size (26.1 innings), Smyly was electric for the Giants in 2020, striking out 14.4 batters per nine innings and recording a 2.01 FIP. If that’s sustainable, he should end up being well worth his $11 million contract.

Here’s what Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos had to say about Atlanta’s newest addition:

According to Baseball Savant, Smyly leans on that curveball over 35% of the time. It’s one of his three offerings. He throws his four-seam fastball nearly half of the time and also mixes in a cutter almost 20% of the time. Of Smyly’s 42 strikeouts last season, 27 of them came from his curveball. Opponents only hit .184 off of the pitch. They also hit just .143 off of his cutter.

As far as the Braves’ approach to free agency this offseason, here’s what Anthopoulos had to say:

Obviously, they are pretty high on Smyly’s ceiling for next season, and Henry Schulman — a beat reporter for the Giants — seems to think this is a high-quality add for the Braves.

As I’ve said several times this offseason, the Braves don’t have to add a frontline starting pitcher this offseason. They will receive that shot in the arm from the return of Mike Soroka. This signing should take them out of the conversations for Trevor Bauer and other high-priced guys, and it might take them out of the starting pitching market altogether. Their top priorities going forward should be replacing/retaining Marcell Ozuna, and patching up the bullpen and bench.


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